Thursday, April 21, 2011

MCT Tips and Tricks for 10232

Fellow MCTs,
I am posting this for the benefit of those MCTs who have not figured out that there is a whole wiki page at on this course once you log in with your MCT LiveID account.

10232 was built with a trial key for SharePoint that has a fixed expiry date. You must turn the clock back to August 2010 (tested using 10th and 11th/08) to teach this course. Thanks go to Chris Barker for being the first to post a solution to this problem at the MCT forum. The key to getting the course to run is to set the clock of the host back before importing the VM and starting it up. This is due to the host setting the bios date of the vm on initial bootup. So changing the time after the fact in the vm does not help as the SharePoint key has invalidated itself by then.
When setting the clock back to a date before the host was built you might have troubles getting any vm to start with a certificate failure. This is due to a certificate HyperV uses when initialising the VM. To solve the problem you need to delete the self-signed cert and reboot the machine. That will force Hyper-V to recreate the cert at the older date and the VMs will start. To do this follow these steps:
1) open MMC and add the Certifcates Snap-in
2) Select the service account option
3) Pick the HyperV Virtual Machine Manager service
4) drill down into the own Certificate folder (first folder)
5) delete the self signed cert with the machine name
6) reboot

Last Tips for a smooth running course:
Configure the machine to use an internal network so you can remote into the box from the host. That will make copy and paste much easier and also allows you to put fiddler on the machines. (my students loved seeing fiddler in action and could not stop fiddling with it)
Change the Integration settings for the vm to not synch the time. That will stop the host from updating the time in the VM. This does not work on initial boot, as the initial time and date on first start of the vm will always be set based on the current host regardless of that setting. But it should prevent the machine to take on a new date while it is running.
Then make a Snapshot!!!
Should the student have changed the time on the host during the course and the time did synch due to some fluke, you can easily revert back to the snapshot which has the correct time settings and a functioning SharePoint instance.

Happy teaching!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SharePoint Diagnostics Studio V2.0

This will be one of the most anticipated admin and dev tools released for SharePoint this year. It will come bundled with the updated version of the administrator toolkit for SharePoint 2010.
Ever had to trawl through multiple logs from multiple load balanced servers to figure out what really happened? Wished you could have your perfmon counters ready when analysing problems? The next version of the SPDiag tool will let you do that and much more. Run reports, save report snapshots, find events based on time, CorrelationID and... the login name! So Jo complains his page crashed and he did not make not of the correlation id? No problem. correlate all logs into one place on your desktop with minimal strain on the servers. Then run a search on his logon and the time window when it crashed and you'll have all the surrounding details, processes and counters available at your fingertips.
Also includes database stats, network stats and latency statistics to identify bottlenecks with some of you service app communications.
This tool was developed by the product team at Microsoft to assist them with the SharePoint development process. What's good for them can't be bad for us mere mortals!
Can't wait to get my hands on this gem. Supposedly coming out this month. Which really means sometime this year, probably during Q2 some time.